Skip links

The thousand bird chorus, Chiang Mai

A remarkable recording today from Marcel Gnauk, who captured the sounds of hundreds of birds singing on power lines in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

He writes:

“I am not sure how many birds but at least a few hundreds are sitting on the powerlines and chirping extremely loudly. I remember a few months ago recording sounds of a few thousand herons in Bali but this one is a little bit different.

“I couldn’t avoid the street noise because its right next to four site intersections.

“I came back on the next morning to get some photos of the place but the birds are all gone. What you can see is a ton of poop on the ground, on the wires and on my helmet!”

Every sound in our recomposed version is taken from the original field recording, effected and processed in various ways.

The sheets of drones represent the “blanket” effect of hearing all of the birds sing as one, creating a sheet of indistinguishable song.

The individual arpeggiated sounds represent listening in more closely, and picking out the songs of individual birds from amongst the noise, like tuning into one person’s conversation in a crowded room.

City version:

Memory version: